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New Study Reveals the Emotional Impact and Effectiveness of Negative Campaigning
Date:10/23/2008

Signal Patterns' SP Labs Election Patterns Report explains the impact of negative campaigning tactics and the emotions of voters; report also reveals that openness and conscientiousness are best predictors of candidate preference and other key findings

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SP Labs - the research arm of Signal Patterns, developers of scientific-based social web applications that characterize and connect people in meaningful ways - today released its Election Patterns report and survey results1 from the recently released Election Patterns application that matches personality traits to voting patterns. This week's report revealed three key findings: 1) the emotional impact that negative campaign ads and events have on voters affects McCain supporters more so than undecided voters and Obama supporters; 2) openness and conscientiousness are the best predictors of candidate preference; and 3) undecided voters' personality traits most resemble Obama supporters.

The Impact of Negative Campaigning Tactics and the Emotions of Voters

Emotionally, both camps do not vary by their extraversion level, meaning that they get the same "kick" out of positive things in life. However, undecided voters resemble Obama voters in that they are emotionally stable and negative events and campaign ads don't affect them as much; whereas McCain voters are more emotionally affected by negative events and ad campaigns.

This finding is fascinating considering the recent public debate over negative campaign tactics. While both candidates cannot lure undecided voters by using negative campaign tactics, McCain can reinforce his existing supporters' choice by using elements that raise negative emotions.

According to Jason Rentfrow, Ph.D, Psychology, SP Labs Science Team researcher and Cambridge University lecturer, "This relationship suggests that ads that play on people's fears may only get the attention of undecided Republic
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SOURCE Signal Patterns
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